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  1. Instant analysis: Nats 7, Astros 0

    Apr 30, 2014, 11:14 PM EDT

    AP

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: A tumultuous opening month for the Nationals ended with a couple of much-needed wins in a comfortable place. Taking advantage of Minute Maid Park’s quirky dimensions — not to mention the perpetually struggling Astros — the Nats followed up Tuesday night’s 1-run victory with a blowout in the finale of this…

  2. Game 28: Nats at Astros

    Apr 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals tonight go for a sweep of this brief, 2-game series in Houston, and they’ll do so with a lineup stacked with right-handed hitters against Astros lefty Brett Oberholtzer. Denard Span is the only left-handed bat in Matt Williams’ starting nine, which means the red-hot Adam LaRoche gets a rare day off. (UPDATE: LaRoche…

  3. Nationals Stock Watch: Roark continues to impress

    Apr 30, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT

    fb000-roark821us

    Record: 4-2 Team slash: .277/.335/.398 Team ERA: 2.73 Runs per game: 5.16 STOCK UP  Adam LaRoche, 1B: .360 AVG/.429 OBP/.560 SLG/6 RBI  With the way the Nationals’ lineup has been bit by the injury bug this season, where would the offense be without LaRoche? The veteran first baseman has been a rock through April, leading the team in average,…

  4. LaRoche carrying Nats lineup once again

    Apr 30, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    It has been easily forgotten because of everything that has transpired since, but it’s worth a friendly reminder: Adam LaRoche carried an injury-plagued Nationals’ lineup during the first two months of the 2012 season. While Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos all spent time on the disabled list, LaRoche was the one…

  5. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Astros 3

    Apr 29, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: As Bryce Harper was in a hospital bed recuperating from thumb surgery earlier in the day, his Nationals teammates took the field in Houston trying to overcome the latest significant injury to their starting lineup. They jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, getting a towering home run from Jayson Werth…

  6. Harper gives thumbs-up after thumb surgery

    Apr 29, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

    @BHarper3407

    Bryce Harper had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ligament in his left thumb, letting the world know all was fine by tweeting a photo of himself post-operation giving a thumbs-up sign. “On the road to recovery..Everything went great and I’ll be back soon! Thank you to all the fans for the support!” Harper posted…

  7. Game 27: Nats at Astros

    Apr 29, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals know they’re going to be without Bryce Harper — who had surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb — for the next two months or so. Tonight, we begin to find out how they deal with the prolonged loss of one of their key regulars. Who replaces Harper in…

  8. Around the NL East: Which teams are for real?

    Apr 29, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT

    Photo by USA Today

    ATLANTA BRAVES Winners of four straight, the Braves are now heading to Miami for a three-game set with the Marlins. Atlanta is 17-7 so far after 24 games, which is actually a better record than they had at this juncture last season. Somehow, some way, the Braves’ pitching staff has been even better despite losing…

  9. Mattheus called up, Jordan going to AAA

    Apr 29, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Seeking extra bullpen help for the immediate future while paving the way for Doug Fister’s pending return to their rotation, the Nationals will promote reliever Ryan Mattheus from Class AAA before tonight’s series opener in Houston and send struggling starter Taylor Jordan to Syracuse, a source with knowledge of the roster move confirmed. The transaction…

  10. Source: Harper needs surgery, out 6-8 weeks

    Apr 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    AP

    Bryce Harper needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to miss approximately two months, a source familiar with the Nationals outfielder’s condition confirmed Monday evening. Harper was examined by a specialist at The Cleveland Clinic earlier Monday, receiving a second opinion after having his thumb examined by another…

  11. With Harper out, Nats need McLouth to get on track

    Apr 28, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    AP

    We don’t know yet how long the Nationals will be without Bryce Harper, who is getting a second opinion today on his sprained left thumb. But whether Harper misses the minimum 15 days or significantly more, the Nats do know who needs to step up in his place: Nate McLouth. Signed in December to a…

  12. State of the Nats: On the road again

    Apr 28, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    Strasburg's health overshadows loss

    Top storylines: Even more injuries – This week saw Bryce Harper head to the disabled list with a sprained left thumb, and until we hear about the second opinion he is set to have today in Cleveland, his timeline is unclear. Harper believes the injury will not linger beyond his 15 days on the disabled list,…

  13. Detwiler, Barrett take blame for loss

    Apr 28, 2014, 6:04 AM EDT

    Photo by the Associated Press

    After Nationals starter Taylor Jordan left Sunday’s game due to a fever, relievers Ross Detwiler and Aaron Barrett had trouble picking up where he left off. Inheriting a game tied at one, Detwiler and Barrett combined to give up three runs in 1 1/3 innings pitched, the deciding difference in the Nats’ loss to the…

  14. Jordan, Espinosa leave game in fifth inning

    Apr 27, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

    Photo by the Associated Press

    Pitching through one of his best starts of the young 2014 season, Taylor Jordan was unexpectedly removed after just four innings during the Nationals’ loss to the Padres on Sunday afternoon. After the game it was explained Jordan was dealing with a bad fever, and was lucky to even make it as far as he…

  15. Instant Analysis: Padres 4, Nats 2

    Apr 27, 2014, 4:48 PM EDT

    Photo by the Associated Press.

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Taylor Jordan was pitching well through four innings for the Nationals, but was removed from the game after only 63 pitches. His velocity appeared down, which is concerning, but there was no immediate announcement as to why he was pulled. Unfortunately for the Nationals, their bullpen could not pick up where Jordan…

  16. Fister pitches four innings in rehab start

    Apr 27, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

    Comments Off
    USA Today Sports Images

    [Updated 6:02 p.m.] Doug Fister completed his first minor league rehab assignment on Sunday afternoon with the Single-A Potomac Nationals, throwing 58 pitches across four innings. Fister allowed three runs – all of them unearned – on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The first two runs came in the first inning and…

  17. Harper to 15-day DL with left thumb sprain

    Apr 27, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain, and will travel to Cleveland on Monday for a second opinion with a hand specialist, manager Matt Williams announced on Sunday. The Nationals are cautious to give a definitive timeline for Harper until after Monday’s examination. Harper had an…

  18. Game 26: Padres at Nats

    Apr 27, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Today the Nationals and Padres close out their four-game series with the Nats looking to win their third in a row. Taylor Jordan (0-3, 6.23) and Ian Kennedy (1-3, 3.60) are your starting pitchers. The Nationals will be without Bryce Harper once again, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game…

  19. Roark proving he’s the real deal

    Apr 26, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    On July 30, 2010, Mike Rizzo made a deadline deal with the Rangers that seemed notable at the time only for the fact the Nationals general manager was able to find a taker for under-performing, aging shortstop Cristian Guzman. The two minor-league pitchers the Nationals received in return for Guzman had little pedigree. Ryan Tatusko…

  20. Instant analysis: Nats 4, Padres 0

    Apr 26, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: In a star-studded Nationals rotation, Tanner Roark can easily be overlooked. That may not be the case much longer. Roark tossed the game of his life this afternoon, carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning and then going the distance for his first career shutout, surrendering only three hits to…

  21. UPDATE: Harper getting MRI on swollen left thumb

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

    AP

    Updated at 5:01 p.m. Bryce Harper was due to have an MRI performed on his swollen left thumb late Saturday afternoon after the Nationals outfielder was examined by a hand specialist during the club’s 4-0 victory over the Padres. The MRI is standard procedure, and the Nationals remain hopeful that the injury is not serious,…

  22. Game 25: Padres at Nats

    Apr 26, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    Let’s get right to the most-significant news of the morning: Bryce Harper is not in the Nationals’ lineup after jamming his left thumb sliding into third base last night. Harper’s thumb remains swollen, and though X-rays were negative, he is scheduled to be examined by a hand specialist today. Manager Matt Williams still doesn’t believe…

  23. The hits finally come, and they come in bunches

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:59 AM EDT

    AP

    Matt Williams only wanted his Nationals to keep giving themselves opportunities to drive in runs, insisting more opportunities would eventually lead to more runs. Little could the rookie manager have realized how dramatically that would prove true only 24 hours after one of the most-frustrating offensive performances in club history. The Nationals torched the Padres…

  24. Harper doesn’t believe left thumb injury is serious

    Apr 26, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT

    AP

    Updated at 12:25 a.m. Bryce Harper’s biggest hit in two weeks may have come at a price, but the Nationals’ young star doesn’t believe the left thumb injury he suffered Friday night sliding into third base on a clutch triple is serious. “I didn’t think so,” Harper said following the Nationals’ 11-1 win over the…

  25. Instant analysis: Nats 11, Padres 1

    Apr 25, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On the heels of an agonizing, extra-inning loss in which they simply could not buy a clutch hit, the Nationals completely flipped the script. But this lopsided victory may have come at a price, with Bryce Harper leaving early with an apparent left hand injury. Harper appeared to hurt himself sliding…

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (3) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 68 3.0
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 --
SAN FRANCISCO 85 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 5.0
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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